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tv   Hearing Focuses on Theft in Antiquities Trade to Fund Terrorism  CSPAN  August 29, 2017 3:38am-4:52am EDT

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to think this is how i see the world but why, how can i expand that by taking in other people's perspectives? >> tonight listen using the free radio app hearing on efforts to combat the illicit art and in cookies -- antiquities trade. before a house financial services subcommittee testifying on ways terrorist groups like isis have used antiquities and arts sales to fund their operations. this is an hour and 10 minutes.
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>> all members will have five legislative days to submit materials and include them in the record. the exportation of cultural property, the antiquities and art trade now recognizes myself for two minutes to give an opening statement. most of the statement is going to be simply presented for the record. oft to talk about the nature the sale of historical artifacts , archaeological artifacts, the isis groups are now destroying entire cultural properties and putting them on the market for sale. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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history has shown that part and cultural antiquities have always due to theired value. i am going to start that over. history has shown that art and cultural activity -- antiquities have been trafficked for their values. in worldd works of art war ii which will never be recovered. war and chaos create -- chaos create pillage. the black market and works of art is becoming as lucrative as those for drugs, weapons, and counterfeit goods. evidence suggests some 50,000-100,000 works of art are
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stolen worldwide. --y 10% of stolen art is 6 recovered and successful prosecution occurs even less friendly. to u.s. law credit enforcement agencies which, with all accounts, appear to be working collaboratively with each other as well as international bodies in the private sector to address this problem. i would hope the u.s. government continues to make the prevention of illegal trafficking of art a priority and encourage strong efforts. some of the questions i hope we can answer today are how we can regulate marketplaces where the valuable pieces of art are exchanged, who are the buyers, and how can we track them better? what steps can be taken to safeguard works of art and vulnerable cultural sites and how our funds related to these antiquities being used to underwrite terrorist organizations?
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i look forward to learning more from our witnesses and i yield back. >> thank you for this important reason to date relative to the antiquities trade. as you know last year the task force to investigate financing held a similar hearing on this manner. our subcommittee continuing our work on this. the united states government must posture and strongly advance any and all investments. antiquities trafficking is no exception. isisnly does this provide with a steady stream of material support, priceless historical locations in iraq and syria. we must create and investigated structure strong enough to impact isis resourcing area i
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look forward to working with you and your staff to promote and effective sanctions policy that puts an end to isis. >> we welcome the witnesses -- the testimony of our witnesses. the bureau of education cultural affairs department of state. multilateral engagement, international program development, and ransom budget oversight and performance measures. mr. counselor for public affairs for u.s. industry and baghdad. efforts in the wake of the incursions of isis into iraq
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and syria. dr. brian is a research associate at the smithsonian where he pursues work about cultural property anti-bush protection and the intentional the cultural- heritage center at the university of health dustin's opinion -- pennsylvania. worked over 18 years with native american communities on issues related to sovereignty, repatriation, dr. daniels holds a phd in anthropology from the university of pennsylvania and a ba in anthropology from san francisco state university. mr. raymond the other way must -- the on the way the -- villanueva is responsible for a
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budget of $160 million in the operation and oversight of 62 offices in countries. he has servednnel in numerous key conditions including asset forfeiture removal and buffalo new york section t for the finance proceeds of crime unit in washington dc unit chief of the trade transparency -- transparency. in charge of the san juan office, deputy assistant director for hsi international operations. each of you is going to be recognized for five minutes to get -- give an oral testimony. your written statements will be part of the record.
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>> sorry. rankingu chairman, member, and members of the subcommittee on terrorism and to elicit ideas for inviting me and my colleagues from dhs and the smithsonian to testify this morning on the topic of the illicit trade and cultural property on terrorist and criminal groups. i cemented testimony on the state department efforts to produce the trafficking of cultural properties. you and conventions related to cultural property protection. the cultural affairs has at the lead on cultural heritage protection and preservation for the state department through cultural heritage center. on property and prevent a nation act implements obligations under the 1970
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convention on the means of exporting and illicit and transfer of ownership and cultural property. cpi eight provides the legal framework by which the unit takes government can combat pillage and trafficking of cultural property through bilateral agreements. these memoranda of understanding impose import restrictions on certain categories of archaeological and ethnological material, determined to be in jeopardy or village -- pillaged. looting and trafficking by keeping loot material out of the u.s. art and antiquities market, the world's largest. pursuant to the cpi eight we have concluded bilateral agreements with countries and implement it restrictions on an emergency basis pursuant to legislation enacted by congress in 2004 and 2016 respectively
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for iraq and syria. in addition to negotiation -- negotiating bilateral agreement the state department coordinates for the agency. we convene the coordinating committee consistent with the sense of congress in the 2016 protect and reserve international cultural property act, shared by the assistant secretary. includes senior representatives of the department of homeland defense, anderior, justice including the fbi as well as the smithsonian institution. you see a also chairs the cultural antiquity task force established by the department in 2004 at the direction of congress and now a working group. originally charged with responding to looting in iraq and afghanistan this mandate has combatpanded to
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antiquities traffic and looting of archaeological sites around the world by identifying and supporting law enforcement as well as diplomatic and training programs. recentconcluded the most program, a training for 25 border patrol and immigration and customs enforcement agents thepril of this year, smithsonian museum conservation institution have had hands-on exposure to the cultural property and artifacts that are typically trafficked. colleagues,eragency the state department has also been active on cultural heritage matters. march 42 heritage protection with the unanimous adoption and cosponsorship of security council resolution 2347. the first devoted to cultural heritage protection.
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led the u.s. delegation to the significantflorence market countries for cooperation on cultural heritage for the primary topic of discussion. at the hand of terrorists this continues, more than 800 years, with a minaret, stood as a testament to the cultural heritage in iraq, the famous minaret, the ancient edifices. we strongly condemn, which further prove the terrorists had no respect for iraq's identity, culture and religion. the united states will continue to stand with iraq, syria and partners in
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the fight against isis until it is defeated. i am happy to take any questions. >> thank you very much. recognized for five minutes. >> chairman pierce, distinguished members, for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss criminal and terrorist groups, i studied the subject as a research associate at the smithsonian institution and i would like to highlight a few key points. there is growing concern and compelling evidence that archaeological sites looting implicated in financing organized criminal activity and other terrorist networks. it is my view these developers represent recent innovation and restructuring of the overall antiquities. for much of the past 50 years the illicit trade and involves regional networks of looters, intermediaries who purchase them, distributors who
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purchase from intermediaries, collectors in the united states and western europe. these networks assert a stable, hierarchical multi-decade supply chain. existing laws in the united states such as the convention on cultural property implementation and current law enforcement responses oriented toward identifying, forfeiting or repatriating artifacts to these networks. in recent years reports have linked criminal and terrorist groups to antiquity sales. some of these accounts are more credible than others. commentators have indicated members allied with the taliban and al qaeda with protection for those who looted artifacts from afghanistan into pakistan. there have been suggestions of links in the insurgency following the second gulf war. the archaeological site began early in the syrian civil war it has
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been widespread under the control of the assad regime and other areas. since 2014, more attention was given to the activities of isis in iraq, media stories attribute their income to monetary figures that strain all reasonable -- this type should not distract us from the looted antiquities to me leaders and militants, documentation about their direct involvement in trade. in late 2016 the italian government confirmed daesch expanded its activity into libya as part of a collaborative enterprise. how might traditional supply chains for the antiquities trade change in response to the interests of criminal and terrorist groups, we can expect looters to remain the same but intermediaries purchasing them from those loaders to be different. these
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buyers are likely to be opportunistic and treat them as a resource similar to us it -- other illicitly crafted resources. we also anticipate their participation would very -- vary according to the underlying market value other than antiquities, recess to electric demands and perceived and actual international efforts to restrict the sale of illicitly trafficked -- it is also important to know the association between archaeological sites not only international problem, the united states, native american archaeological sites are targeted by those like italy and the southwest. and other materials for sale. in california, where i conducted an archaeological project recent prosecutions broke up criminal gang selling methamphetamine. at present we don't have consultation with tribal communities or basic research
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completed to understand how these are to operate. the illicit antiquities trade involved the integration of criminal networks, unlike more traditional trades that archaeologists, these require additional study, and disciplinary criminologists and criminologists familiar with research. in an effort to develop these collaborations (202) 628-0205 -- a group of 15 us international universities to form a conflict culture. and the national science foundation supported its planning. as well as the amount of funding earned by terrorist actors from it will
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only improve when additional research is done. i would be happy to answer any questions as i am able. think you very much. >> you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today, homeland security investigations were referred to, cultural property, art and antiquities and to mitigate their trafficking into and out of the united states. -- --n and women of isis the men and women of ice extent -- extended best wishes. this morning i would like to describe, also the cpa a program. with partners at these issues, i would like to highlight those property cases.
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i'm often asked why cpaa? there's a couple of reasons. customs law prohibits couple -- trafficking of merchandise to to include cpaa. they provide us with the responsibility and unique tools will take a lead role in investigating crimes for import, export and distribution for stolen and looted cultural property. with tribal, federal, and local law enforcement. private institutions. intergovernmental organizations. we also worked with the department of justice to prosecute individuals and organizations responsible for these crimes. to assure investigating these crimes, the cpaa
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the program has a three-part mission. the first one is trading and education. we actually partner with the department of state, the smithsonian institution and have trained 400 law enforcement professionals including special and officers, prosecutors, interagency partners and law enforcement officers. on preservation and investigation of cultural property. the second one is investigation support. the program helps identify subject matter experts to authenticate items that might have cultural and religious release them to the fbi and other law enforcement agencies. we support over 6000 special agents in more than 200 domestic offices throughout the united
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dates. --work through our expert network of offices, 67 indices throughout the world. our investigators collaborate , which is italy responsible for combating antiquities crimes. the program facilitates the process and repatriation of cultural items as the result of investigations to their rightful owners. whether through a simple exchange or a grand ceremony in washington, d.c.. this event highlights the story behind the objects themselves as well as the woman and man who brought the criminals to justice. since 2007, the department of state has returned more than 8000 historical objects to more than 30 countries around the
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world. one of the largest is operation hidden idols. one of our specialized teams in new york and los angeles, the case began in 2007 out of new york and has resulted in the seizure of over 3000 artifacts. than 50ution of more search warrants. again for the opportunity to testify and for your continued support for the law investment -- enforcement. we look forward to mitigate the trafficking of cultural property regardless of the source. i would like to direct your attention to the pictures that provide some examples of the incredible people of history properly returns. i will answer any questions you may have.
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>> i am going to tell you my personal experience. saw and when online and mask from an indian reservation. he was going to purchase it. what caught my attention was, he end his wife had lost a child in childbirth. the internet went down, he said the second article being him felt as bad and made feel as bad as he did when he
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lost that child and childbirth. something we need to penetrate, to do more. how long does it take to track and prosecute a simple case, just roughly? their, thank you for question. both cases are different. case-by-case process. only talk about antiquities and following the explanation of dr. daniels, which is very poignant, it can be quite complicated. want toicated is what i hear. the top artifact, what is the value on that? >> as far as the value, i have to say we do use the value system but it is for the legal side of it. >> i'm trying to get the financial stimulation.
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dr. daniels got an opinion on what something like that would cost on the black market. >> it depends on the level of -- market it is being travel traffic debt. on the top left, it might be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. >> so, you get the -- you have the -- basically, rights and titles once the thing is in trade back and forth it can stay in trade for years. is there any way to regulate that transfer back and forth? is it being regulated now? >> you mind repeating the question? >> it yet. so, once an article has been gotten and sold into a market, it can then be traded back-and-forth between traders that know each other and never
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leave the country. is there any way to regulate that chain of ownership right now? >> that piece was actually imported into the united states -- >> i didn't say that. if it stays out there in a country, people are identifying it, it ensuring it, they put in on their inventory but there is no way to track of it is? >> to your point, it is. is ability to track it limited. we rely on the supply chain to notify law enforcement. you are correct. >> very quickly would you address that if you have no opinion? the area of in training and building awareness of illicit trade, and we work very closely with dhs on that sort of activity.
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>> ok. so, the stimulation is always money, right? we areyour testimony and talking about focusing on repatriation, sometimes we talk about focusing on prosecution. it seems to me, by perspective, the better way is affecting me value. i imagine that open sourcing, people out there aware the property is being destroyed and taken, if they had some way to , box in to a database chain analysis or whatever, we see this being taken. they are not even in product distribution are anything like that. you can imagine if we appeal to the collectors, surely one out of 100 will have some sort of moral sense that -- i can't let it go by. i've been approached to buy something i think is illegal. they entered into the system,
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the system begins to identify, maybe scattered here or there, in the future five years, here it is again. someone reported in here, it's there. each one of those identification points drives the value down. if you can affect the value, people are less likely to get in-depth they don't think they can get their $1 million back they won't put a million dollars into a very significant peas. we have to be thinking at least in some way to interdict the value. that will be easier than the interim tracking. i recognize -- >> i recognize the colleague for five minutes. mr. german. my experience comes from watching tv and "madam secretary" and the episodes
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they've had on stolen art, the destruction of antiquities and someone. i apologize for not really understanding this. there are a couple sentences in your testimony today i would like to acquire a little bit more about so we actually understand to the best of our ability how this works. surely from these antiquities, from the artworks, from the artifacts how somebody gets money to do bad things around the world. first, the fifth is bad. then, they underwrite activities detrimental to america. so, we talked about the workshop you conducted back in 2014 intoe daesh advanced syria. you say we learned more about thecultural risks of
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professionals who are trying to study these antiquities. i would like to know little bit more about that. then you talk about daesh, what they did was they had a tax in effect across the territory where they allowed looters to come into a particular area, take stuff, and there was a 20% tax. i like to know more about that. during your testimony and report, you talk about nevertheless such hype should not distract us. i like to know what you meant about that. >> thank you very much. let me take the first question about the workshop we held in southern turkey. that got together a group of syrian cultural heritage professionals in areas outside of the assad machine that were caught in the crossfire and deeply concerned about protecting.
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it was focused on archaeological sites and the museums and mosaics in what we call the density area. what we -- what we called the dead cities area. they were deeply concerned about daesh and also concerned about bombs by the assad regime. protectw they could collections from aerial bombardment. this is a large measure of what our discussions focused on a neck context. -- in that context. as far as the 20% tax, it was variable according to the area and type of artifact actually discovered. that was something that appeared to be a new innovation in terms andrganizing -- organized systemized looting. i hear the system is embraced by to the raid.quent
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what this really represented was an organized way for a criminal and terrorist organization to benefit from the antiquities trade. >> let me stop you. i am trying to figure that out. someone from daesh hire an art appraiser to say, ok this is what this stuff is worth and then need daesh militants, whoever they were, the isis folks, say to the looters ok wyff praise this and you are going to pay s 20% and you can take it. pressedally they officials into their service to appraise it. so when i mentioned the hype in concernss, one of the that we have in the archaeological community is speculation about how much an
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entity like -- or any other terrorist organization actually earns. i have been informed about number such as 600 million or $2 mentioned.e been that strains my imagination. it is incumbent upon out -- archaeologists. it is a strain to talk about the antiquities. we need to be realistic about the kind of monetary figures we members of congress and policy makers such as yourself. >> gentleman's time is expired. the gentleman from north carolina is recognize. >> thank you mr. chairman. i do like colorado but thank you for being with us today and to ourg your expertise committee. i would like to know what work can be done to strengthen our
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sanctions laws. and what tools we could pursue to put an end to daesh and the antiquities trade. you may like to comment on that. don't fight over it now. >> ok. thank you congressman picture. you,ll -- thank congressman. the opportunity to testify on this issue. i would like to add to the comments of dr. daniels. the exportation of cultural property by terrorist groups like isis is dual-edged. we cannot underestimate the terror value of blowing up and destroying these sites. >> i for shake that, but when i need to find is if there's
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anything more we can do in congress to facilitate our capabilities? as you know, we set up the cultural heritage coordinating committee and response to last summer's legislation and we are going forward with that very senior coordinating body to strengthen our enforcement as much as possible. questiont to your today we have treated the antiquities trade primarily as a import of trade and restrictions should reduce the incentive to loot and also access to u.s. markets for those looted materials. but, to date there is not been any creative thinking about how we would address the issue of antiquities looting around financial crimes. there has not been the kind of
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conversation about what laws or policies what actually look like at that nexus. >> i would like to delve into technology. what technology is being used right now to address this illicit trafficking? these solutions applied to certain objects. are we sophisticated enough in our technology? are we adequate with our capabilities there? >> imaging software these days is primarily based on facial recognition and shadows. those do not translate well to flat surfaces like pottery. we are quite at that level of sophistication. money about trade-based laundering? did they use trade-based money laundering as a means to transfer these objects?
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>> from the trade-based money laundering perspective, it will take money from an illicit source to buy a commodity and then ship right commodity across international boundaries, so yes. it is very possible. >> of the centrifuge is taking something -- >> you are changing the commodity into cash and laundering. so, is it a possibility we have the trade transparency unit, which is one of my old jobs to pursue trade-based money laundering by worsening -- working with the administration to do that type of work. it is something win law enforcement are looking at and it is very possible. >> do we need to strengthen our possibilities in terms of the the amount and are other countries collaborating with us?
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in being able to have the technology and the commitment to oversee? tracks yes, sir, we do. we work very well with the international community. are customs administration not law enforcement, whereas in the u.s. we carry a law enforcement initiative. we work with the police force and the customs administration said there is good partnership. there are many countries willing to work with us under the customs agreements that are in place throughout the world. >> my time is about up. thank you so much. back.d >> engine was some is expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. foster. rep. foster: thank you so much on this very tragic subject.
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what is the audacious secondary market in terms of regions of the world? asia, gulfope, states, north america, and rough terms. are there trends in that? how effective have we been for example in western europe and north america to at least purchase of well-documented items. things that of been documented to be in museums and then disappear, as well as items that were lifted out of the ground without documentation at all in the last couple years? >> senator, i think the short answer to that question is generally speaking, our research it takes 6-9s years for the antiquities themselves to public -- to appear publicly. what we do know about the
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antiquities imported from syria that are not at the moment able to be linked to daesh it self, they are being transported through south asia, singapore, thailand and back to markets in western europe. western europe pre-dated the united states and placing import restrictions on looted material from syria. they were quick to the issue. germany very much so has been very focused on clamping down on this kind of trade. we are not at the moment able to parse out in strict percentages materialistsnishes material is daesh going. we suspect this material is in the pipeline from records we've seen from southeast asia. we can also suspect that as miss grinder mentioned -- as miss g
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mentioned, other significant markets include russia, china, the gulf states, saudi arabia. our suspicion is that we may see some kind of restructuring as these materials begin to surface and they may not necessarily appearance a, western europe as we might have typically expected after the iraq war. typically, the modern and more modern arts -- china is a huge layer. and, asia generally. it to benot find .urprising so transit to southeast asia comment than it does not even had for the northern americas. crying sir, for the moment with not been able to review the shipment from a research perspective so i don't know the
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extent to which there may be ongoing law investigations on that subject. >> how important is the documentation of an artifact on the secondary market is mark >> the luminary research we have done suggests the documentation will increase the value of the object, somewhere around the order of 40%. so you can count that as a discount if the article is completely unprofitable angst and without -- if the article is unprovenanced and without documentation. >> there has been a flourishing of a fake antiquities market inside serious that showed up in the united states and western europe. these are clearly fake. there is enough expertise with the international art market to betweene the difference
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a fake and original, so i'm not sure if it has had any real effect on prices. >> which, in a funny way, is encouraging. the real theft is being diluted by competent forgeries. a couple years ago, daesh started issuing gold coins with the intention of destroying the dollar. i was wondering, i presume they are pretty much worthless except for their intrinsic value. have they started to acquire value on the market as a coin of a dead or dying value? >> i have not seen evidence of extension collection of -- coins although i've heard from law enforcement officials outside the united states that there is a collectors market for such objects in the gulf states. gentleman's time is expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arkansas mr.
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hill. thank you for bringing this important subject back. i want to thank mr. daniels. the smithsonian's work around the united states and ecm education and repatriated tatian of museum artifacts with natives around the country, it has been a good 20 years of the work smithsonian institution has done on that. when i think about this subject, destruction,ng, simple, malicious destruction seems really an equal or greater motivation man making money -- motivation then making money for the sonic state. one of my favorite books last year was reading "the bad us assrarians -- the bad librarians of timbuktu."
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i recommend that book. terrorist organizations associated with islamic state, their relentless effort to destroy thousands of years of islamic manuscripts, just because they could. hope you will recommend to the treasury department that when secretary mnuchin goes to the gulf this year to discuss the gulf states-headquartered para finance unit that this subject of antiquities transfer be put on the agenda. because if you want a relic from the labonte, it seems like that thed have high-value from funders. following up on dr. foster's comments, on the sale side where
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is on your view the major leakage of cultural artifacts? are they primarily exiting through turkey to these other markets you described? or to the coast somewhere on the mediterranean? talk to me about where you think we should be most insulin at looking for the -- vigilant about looking for the leakage. have pretty much stepped up. the numbers of artifacts that the turkish police forces have actually recovered are actually and point todinary the effectiveness of their law-enforcement response. my own view on this is that much of the large integrated, not the small antiquities but the large antiquities, were actually smuggled from syria into iraq
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and into mosul itself. some of the members might be aware that not all plain flights stopped during the crisis and by -- my working theory is that many of those artifacts were smuggled on those plane flights, particularly the large plane flights and then to the southeastern route we have seen crop up. some of the smaller artifacts, especially early in the conflict were likely smuggled out through the regional networks that had been long established and routed lebanon which has long been a sales .4 antiquities in the middle east for the better part of the last 70 54 100 years. >> thank you. that helps with the department of state on where to place emphasis in working with our
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experts on how to target the stopping of those that do get trans-shipped. we center all of our money laundering work on the banking system because we always believe that people will try to turn whatever they have in the global market to cash and therefore the inest ways to track that is a financial institution. of course, we know in today's society that is not necessarily the most accurate. do you think the international art community should be required perhaps to file a suspicious to someplace or among each other in a self-regulatory or collaborative basis? i am interested in your view on that. how you think those red flags could be used in may be a more effective way? whoever would like to respond to that.
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interestingn question. the house,y side of our dealers, as part of a business transaction, if they receive more than $10,000 in cash they will have to use form 8300. as far as activity reports, they are not a money service business. they are an arts dealer. i would defer to experts in terms of this fisher's activity reports as it pertains to the arts market. -- in terms of suspicious activity as it pertains to the arts market. there are mechanisms in place to contact law enforcement and some of them have done that proactively when they come across different artifacts that are questionable to their
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expertise. if you would think in terms of theart dealers, we think of -- then art dealers are the first line of defense for us when it comes to selling artifacts. we would love to work with them. we are doing a lot of work with that community in terms of outreach, using their expertise. i would refer to my colleagues at the table on the cultural properties. >> thank you. the gentleman some is expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from nevada. >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you ranking member. thank you for being here to talk less about this important subject. and your opinion, how has isis's approach to come and collect money from looters and choke off other sources of revenue, including the sale of oil?
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that goes for any of you. >> i mean i would think two things on this. i think the information we understand about how this market actually operates certainly became much more regimented in my view since the coalition airstrikes began. in some ways, we're operating in an environment where it is not entirely clear. what i do know is that about the time the coalition airstrikes began, it became harder to move material. this is what my colleagues working in syria tell me. there's also a problem of determining the price point of many of these antiquities and many of the first iron intermediaries began to miss identify the value, either grossly overvaluing or grossly undervaluing, pointing to a fact that some of the expertise they
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were relying on may have escaped or there was not as many coordinations because of the nature of the airstrikes. thatur testimony notes your agency has a robust international presence through a network of attaches. 67 different embassies and consulates. of these attaches, how many of them have expertise dealing with art and equities in your view? is training for such or snow wanted question mark >> thank you for the question, sir. yes, we do, actually a part of actuallying is we trained some of our agents stationed abroad. there are some offices heavily engaged. our office in rome within the embassy works very closely with our foreign partners on that. haveet me say this, we do
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subject matter experts in our weice in washington, d.c., work very close with the smithsonian, department of state. agentsany of our 6000 domestically were abroad comes across an allegation involving c.p.a. a, even if they are not trained they have resources available immediately. people who can talk to them on the phone to help guide the investigation. >> thank you. last question and you might've answered this before i got here but what portion of the funding raised by direct looting from isis itself versus taxes and licenses on the civilian ?opulation >> sir, i think that one of the issues with the amount of money identified from isis is that we are really not clear right now about her sing out the exact --
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parsing out the exact dollar figure. the best information to date is that retrieved from a rating and my understanding is the committee was briefed in closed session. >> thank you. >> gentleman yells back, chair recognizes the gentleman from somewhere east of the mississippi river. >> that would be the great state of maine. if you ever want to book a vacation in maine, you should do so now. thank you for being him. i appreciate this. this is a consent while americans who want to make sure history"ve world culture and included here in the united states. we spend a lot of time talking about illicit trade in the middle east and other parts of this great earth but what about in america? we have a row problem in our great state of maine with a
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opioid and heroin addiction epidemic. it is a real concern, affecting all of our families are most of our families. there has been a little bit of discussion today about trade, illicit trade, antiquities right here and historical artifacts right here in america. i would like each of you to weigh in quickly. grunder we'll start with you, do you have any feel for how much it has an impact on illicit drug trade here in america? please put or microphone. thank you. : thank you for the question. we believe there are commonalities between all of the different forms of illicit trade but i would have to leave it to experts. >> thank you. dr. daniels?
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dr. daniels: right now we don't informationbit of americanof the native property cases have drug ties. two amphetamines or opioids. but it is happening. my working theory on this is that the looting of the archaeological sites provides a form of race capital for drug producers to begin operations. >> icy. i see. we have to choke off this poison sell it torying to our families. do you have any information for the panel on this? >> you mentioned financial as it pertains to drug trafficking. our agency brings over 40 years of investigation expertise. worked my career as a
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money laundering investigator. >> thank you for doing now but betweenve a connection the illegal heroin and open your trade in america with respect to selling our historical artifact here within our borders? >> at this point we have not onn investigation of c.p.a. opioids. i have to limit by comments. >> thank you. let's go to another issue. dr. daniels, we will start with you. can you tell us a little bit about how a free port works and how a free port might have impact on the illicit trade of artifacts in fueling the drug trade around the world? >> we expect the integrally straight to actually follow the free ports. >> are their warehouses at
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different points of entry around the world chris rock as a correct? >> that is correct. these warehouses serve as showrooms, conservation centers. and the taint of looting disappears averred time. august you have any comment on that issue in particular. >> i agree with dr. daniels. in u.s. is different than abroad. in the u.s. it is heavily regulated. customs does great work in that space. any merchandise in the united states going in and out is subject to shipping documents such as country of origin, description, valuation. very similar to the shipping information when they are bringing articles into our nation. impact ons an terrorism financing around the
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world. does the united states government have any kind of just action in those free zones or other parts of the world? >> only if it pertains to merchandise coming into our commerce. >> thank you mr. chairman very much. i yield back my time. thank you for being here today. >> the gentleman yells back. the chair recognizes the lady from new york. >> thank you for holding this important hearing on the theft of cultural antiquities. it has long been an interest of mine and this is hardly a new practice. in the early 1800s when greece was under ottoman rule, a british nobleman took over 100 pieces from the historic athens and under very questionable circumstances he then sold these artifacts known as the parthenon marbles or sculptures to the british museum, where they remain today. this is probably the most important antiquities in greece,
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prepared and developed by greek artists, owned by greece. yet, a representative of an occupying nation sold them. he did not have a right to sell them so in effect in my opinion they were stolen. i've called for a resolution between the two countries to negotiate a return of the marbles because these artifacts have incredible cultural significance to the greek people. what the story of the parthenon marbles in many ways mirrors the modern problems we face in the illegal antiquities market. the british nobleman thomas bruce took these artifacts while these ottomans were rolling greece and then was able to profit when he sold them to a museum. like today, there are terrorist organizations like isis who steal cultural artifacts in territories they occupy and then
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convert them to cash by selling them on the black market in order to fund their terrorist organizations. of course, if there were not a secondary market for stolen antiquities, then terrorists and criminals would not see these artifacts as potential sources of revenue in the first place. i have two questions to ask the panel and i would like to start with mr. villanueva. first, is it a lack of agreed-upon and enforceable standard in the antiquities market that makes it so attractive to criminals and terrorists to sell these artifacts? justre the terrorists using me antiquities market simply because the area they currently occupy happen to have lots of valuable antiquities? we have been called to a vote. that whenould say
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we're talking about cultural property or antiquities trafficking, we're talking about crime in theldest books of law. i mean, since we have civilization and art, we have smuggling and looting of arts and antiquities. what i would say is that, you talk about the area occupied, i would also mentioned the regents with civil unrest, with rich history traditions of antiquities. we do have, with the u.s., i feel comfortable and forcing the laws we have. it is just working with the international community to prevent the looting, specifically as it pertains -- >> do we have standards to prevent this in the antiquities market? buy these, do they have standards and laws against doing this? what are the standards that could prevent this from
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happening? dr. daniels? issuesiels: one of the and the broader antiquities market is that it existed for a very long time, as you rightly pointed out. for much of that time there has been oversight regulation or due diligence required throughout the supply chain and ultimately, onto collectors. this has recently changed in recent years with the digital statelve the team, and working well with them to enforce the memorandum of understanding we have for these specific 16 countries and the other two special cases. our principal issue is that it does not represent international coverage and there is a real lack of standards about what constitutes the documentation required for legal title for the sale of an object through that supply chain and the expectation to receive that kind of titled
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information. >> how would you grade the international stations? through the hague? united nations? how would you make that happen? >> it has been piecemeal country-by heaven country according to the laws in each country. >> do think it would be good to go to the united nations with this effort? drugs i do not inc. -- >> i am not sure there would be realist and am a that way. and there are possibilities that this committee and the united states could explore with regard to legitimate title. >> thank you. >> time has expired. chairman royce, chairman of the foreign relations committee. >> thank you. the drinking member and i last
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year -- the winking member and i ranking member and i discussed this last year. to improve our government with syria and iraq. since that time, and i was at the iraq museum last year which saw the destruction of the great mosque in mosul. i was going to ask in that vein, i would ask the panel what the practical impact of this legislation has been both visit relates to stopping the illicit trade in antiquities and the coordination of the respective agencies that have a stake in this fight and also, are there other countries experiencing conflict in which illicit the might enter
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market just as these antiquities, taken down by isis, has been found to have entered the u.s. market? >> thank you congressman royce. the state department has stood up to the cultural heritage coordinating committee in response to congress legislation from last summer. we have had three meetings of that senior interagency committee since last summer. it genuinely at has increased coordination among the hour agencies at a senior level. one result that i would highlight is a recent agreement between the smithsonian and the state department to find a project in northern iraq to do emergency stabilization at the at ant site of numero --
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ancient site. >> thank you for the preserve and protect bipartisan cultural participationur on this. it has increased across the cc wasgency after the ch boosted up. what i would like to add is the protect and preserve cultural property act was specific to materials fromd syria in order to choke off the daesh funding. afghanistan, nigeria, south sudan -- all have looting issues. all have antiquities that have the potential to enter the flow of commerce. i recently returned after a prolonged trip to europe speaking with law enforcement and after my conversations in those meetings i am at this point almost more concerned
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about the nexus between looting and al qaeda in afghanistan than i am about daesh and syria and iraq. but there is no protection, there are no import restrictions for afghanistan. >> thank you. any other commentary? the -- s >> as far as the different topics, i will defer to my colleagues on law enforcement. >> the gentleman yells back. >> thank you mr. chairman and everyoneng member and at the hearing today. late last month, the wall street customsquoted a former officer in new york who handled seizure operations who said "it is still easy to smuggle foreign into goodies here." what additional steps as dha or
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ice taking to prevent this pathway into the lucrative u.s. market? thank you. >> thank you for the question, sir. you mentioned training. training and capacity building is paramount. understanding this crime, the smuggling, the routes, and techniques, concealment, what have you is important to both investigators and border for text and working out the front lines. we bring the officers to training. we talk about different concealment techniques. we talk about the investigative side of the houses and the handling during investigation of the pieces. internationalur partners to learn about the pieces out there in the market. whether the great market or the soegitimate auction houses that when our officers come across a piece, a red flag goes up. so, there are actually actions immigration,
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customs enforcement using our border special authority. >> thank you. >> to art. the gentleman's time is expired. we must adjourn this hearing. thank you so much for being with us today and for your wise counsel. thank you.
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